Melbourne

Melbourne pub ordered to tear down Harry Potter installation after legal threat

 The Imperial Hotel in Melbourne has been ordered tear down its rooftop Harry Potter installation and turn off the taps on its Buttah Beer after the multinational demanded the pub remove all wizard-themed decorations and references.

The pub – on the corner of Bourke and Spring streets, a few doors down from the Princess Theatre where the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play runs eight times a week – featured six "magical stores" adorned with spell books, almanacs and colours from the film series.

Reptile surprises Melbourne walkers

Two people came across the one-metre-long reptile while walking in Heidelberg Heights about 8:30pm local time on Monday night.

It was "sitting quietly" on a footpath in the front yard of a business on Waiora Road, police said.

Officers were called to the scene, but decided to hand the case over to the experts and a reptile catcher came to help.

The catcher will look after the crocodile until staff from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning can collect it, police said.

Broken fat switch

Scientists at Monash University's Biomedicine Discovery Institute believe they have found a mechanism in the brain that coordinates the conversion of food into white fat or brown fat in the body.

The study was conducted on mice, but evidence suggests it would likely apply to humans as well.

White fat is how humans store energy, and excess storage leads to obesity, while brown fat actually produces heat and burns energy.

Dance me to the end of adulthood

From leg irons to tap dancing

David Watson, 83, took up tap dancing in his 40s, and has danced ever since.

He took up it up by chance, after accompanying a friend from work to a dance class in Melbourne.

The ex-architecture lecturer recalled the very first lesson on a "lousy" floor located above a porn shop in Swanston Street.

"I used to have to hide my face as I walked in," Mr Watson laughed.

Australia makes 'largest ever' crystal meth seizure

The 903kg (1990lb) haul of the drug, also called ice, is estimated to have a street value of A$898m (£546m; $680m), Justice Minister Michael Keenan said.

The drugs were concealed between floorboards in a shipment sent to Melbourne, according to the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

Two men have been charged with drug trafficking offences.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull praised the police operation, describing drug traffickers as "merchants of death".

Melbourne 'go slow' taxi protest stops traffic

Taxis drove at 5km/h (3mph) on the Tullamarine Freeway to Parliament House during the morning rush hour, causing a traffic jam.

The state government is planning industry reforms that will regulate ride-sharing app Uber and scrap taxi licenses.

Drivers are concerned they will not receive enough compensation.

Traditional taxis operate under rigid regulation and have to pay big sums for licences to drive passengers.

Last August, the state government legalised ride-sharing apps sparking a drop in the value of taxi operating licenses.

Rebel Musik to raise awareness on West Papua struggle

Mogu, is part of the Rebel Musik collaboration taking the stage of XO state in Melbourne, next Friday, February 24.

Rebel Musik, he says, will raise awareness on the struggle of West Papua and other ignored issues.

Put together as an initiative of Aireleke – a musician and recognised activist for West Papua, the group of talented musicians from PNG and West Papua will voice the concern on the musical stage.

 “Music is an art form but should not be taken for the aesthetics of it only – the beauty of art as an organised sound.

What is Asia TOPA?

A vitally fresh and always unpredictable event, Asia-Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts offers a city-wide window into the creative imaginations fuelling the many cultures of the region.

The annual inaugural event was brought about through a ground-breaking collaboration by leading arts organisations from across Melbourne and beyond.

It believes that cultural engagement is key to expressing who we are, where we’ve come from and how we connect with each other across the Asia-Pacific region.

Car ploughs into pedestrians in Melbourne, police say

A man was arrested and "the situation is now contained", police said.

The incident was not believed to be terror-related, said Victoria Police Acting Commissioner Stuart Bateson.

The incident happened at the Bourke St Mall, a busy shopping area, just before 14:00 (03:00 GMT).

Mr Bateson told reporters that police believe the driver "deliberately drove into the crowd".

Footage broadcast on Australian media showed a maroon car driving erratically in circles in front of nearby Flinders Street railway station.

 

Overturned pram

'Brian' the kitten rescued from Melbourne dumpster after being covered in olive oil

The Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) was called by the RSPCA at 11:00am after its officers were unable to free the cat from the bin at Keilor Park.

The kitten, a stray, had to be sedated and covered in olive oil before firefighters carefully pulled it from the pipe at the bottom of the dumpster.

The tiny ginger cat's head was poking out of the hole, which was smaller than the palm of its rescuer.

The MFB said it was tired and dehydrated, and was taken to a vet for a check-up.